Workplace Communication

In an era of Casual Fridays and work-from-home colleagues, how can you maintain effective office communication in a changing business climate?

We’ll steer you through changes in business etiquette, and help you successfully navigate through the new realities of workplace conflict and office politics.

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Is it a problem when your boss takes credit for your ideas? Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, says “no.” Making your boss look smart to higher-ups, says Handal, and having your boss depend on you for good suggestions—“is certainly not going to do you any harm.”

Conflict happens in all corners of the workplace. But if issues aren't settled, bad things can happen: Good people quit, morale can plummet and, sometimes, violence can erupt. But supervisors and managers don't need to become certified mediators to settle disputes. You just need to understand some basics about human behavior, practice the fine art of paying attention and offer yourself as a neutral party who wants to resolve the problem.

A corporate crisis could kill your career or it could position you for future success. Tips for handling a corporate crisis in a way that benefits your career: Do extensive homework before joining an employer. Resist the desire to quit. Keep meticulous records about your crisis management.
Boost the odds that people will read your emails. Five guidelines: 1.  Limit your message to five sentences. 2.  Figure out your main point. 3.  Edit. 4.  Ask one thing at a time, or maybe two. 5.  Include a link to information available online.

Perfume? Too personal. Coffee maker? Too expensive (unless it’s a group gift). The rules for gift-giving at work, in those offices that swap presents, are fairly straightforward. Here’s advice from experts:

Giving great presentations requires skill, work and practice. So if you want to take the easy way out and look like a rank amateur, here are 15 surefire tips to guarantee that you leave a really bad impression.

Janie used to wear a ponytail to work, along with scant makeup, khakis, sweaters and loafers. Then a “Power of Image” workshop changed how she presented herself. Now, when she shares her ideas with senior managers, they listen and buy in to what she’s saying.

Allan Stark loves to haggle. In his world, everybody can make out better on every deal. He’s made a second career by offering his negotiating skills on the web. His pitch: He’ll do even better on the very best deal you can make and then split the savings. Stark offers these tips:

When a group of co-workers chip in to buy a gift for a colleague, should they allow noncontributors to sign the card, as well? Or should they leave the gift shirkers out in the cold? An office coordinator in Florida posed this etiquette question to us recently.

Gauge your long-term prospects with your current organization by assessing its bottom line and culture. Here are the questions you'll need to answer and the steps you'll need to take, divided into four key parts:
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